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tv   Washington Business Report  ABC  July 10, 2011 9:30am-10:00am EDT

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>> business news fm the capital region. this is "washington business report" with a 7 national correspondent rebecca cooper. >> thank you for joinining us for "washington business report," where we look at the news that impact you. our round table tas a look at business news throughout the region and the difficult dance goinon at the white house over the debt. first, our newsmaker. this week, we bid farewell to the space shuttle. as the u.s. winds down a key part of the space mission, the government continues to ramp up military readiness even with major cuts in defense spending. it is the perfect time to talk to sean o'keefe, the former nasa administrator who now heads eads.
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the company has big u.s. military contracts and plans to make those an even bigger percentage of the parent company's total revenue. thank you for joining us. you are a former secretary of the navy and former nasa administrator. you said to callou sean. i will go with mr. secretary. what a year you have had. you survive a tragic plane crash that took the lives of a beloved former mentor. your son survived. you survived. he also survived losing a big contract to boeing. eads is now setting new records for contracts. we want to talk about all of that. l's start with the final launch of the space shuttle
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atlantis. what are your thoughts? can the public sector takeover? >> this is been a remarkable event. it has a 30-year history of successful launches along with triumph and tragedy that goes along with the exploration agenda. it built the international space station. it could not have been built in assembled without the space shuttle. it was launched and successfully repaired several occasions. the hubble telescope gives us a different understanding of the universe. like everything else in exploration this is now the closure of this chapter and the opening of a new one. it will put a tremendous amount of responsibility on the industry and aerospace communityty at large to continue supporting the international space station and continuehe exploration
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agendas and support the exploration agencies around the goalglobe. >> there is a feeling of loss among the american public. we feel we should be leading the way. to not have any ability to launch into space for the next few years, do you think the government made a mistake in stepping back? they say they will try to go to mars and do other things. where do you see it heading? >> in 1974, it was seven years later that the space shuttle launch. in that time, there was the same hiatus in which there was an examination of what we wanted to do in terms of strategy going forward. the exploration and gen that drives itself. it is part of human nature. it is something we all want to see occur. -- the exploration agenda drives itself. we always want to see what is on the other side of the rich. -- ridge.
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these are really short times when you look at the continuing trade at the end of the day the human spirit will drive us towards wanting to expxplore and going past and the planetary destination he might take in our own solar system. we're in a little neighborhood in the mass of universe. we have barely scratched the surface of understanding and comprehension ding it. >> i want to get to the future of eads. we wated closely the fight between boeing and eads north america for the big refueling contract. everyone was expecting it to go to eads. we had cameramen ready to g go at the national press club expecting it to go your way. it did not. why did you lose the contract? >> it was priced during
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competition and a bid a lower price. -- it was a price-driven competition and they bid a lower price. it was as simple as that. we congratulate them forr having been the lowest price. we wish them well in accomplishing the goal. >> what is the future for eads north america? >> that competition demonstrated we can compete on a global scale for major programs. it was the second largest one the defense department ever conducted. we can pass every criteria and qualification necessary. it got down to the last of the middle point of who was going to bid the lowest price. we demonstrated we can participate in the larger competite rangnge and be successful i in accomplishing the goal. we still have the only aeririal refueling tanker actually flying today in business. that will always b be an occasion. we have been a major prime
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contractor for the united states army for six years. we have built utility helicopters. we have delivered over 265. >> you been on time and at the right price. you have done a great job on that helicopter. use of the campaigns. boeing put a lot into making the message to the public this was about american jobs. was that fair? >> that was not a factor in the evaluation. it was that would have been a neutral issue. about 50% of our offering was of u.s. origin. the jobs associated were roughly comparable about 50,000 in the united states. this was of no consequence. eads is as global of the company
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as boeg. my delaware charter for the company i lead is no different from any other american company. >> when we come back, i want to ask you about what job you may be creating in the f future in the united stas.
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>> welcome back. we are with sean o'keefe, the former nasa administrator who now heads eads.
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>> on the eastern seaboard and throughout the south, we build helicopters. we're looking at a range of opportunities for the production and manufacture of radar assets. several smaller subsidiarary'sies operate in and around alabama. there are a range of different production facilities and cacities. we have operations on the west coast. it is spread across the country. there are roughly 3 3500 jobs now. we intend to expand over te. it is predominantly on the eastern seaboard and southern united states. >> europe,e, the united states and emerging markets are the three pillars of the company. some have questioned if that should be the focus. should france be more of a
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focused and the united states? >> i come from the same place our ceo does. when you look at the market numbers it drives us to the obvious conclusion. half of the markets for national defense-related assets come from the united states. >> that will be shrinking. they say they want major cuts. can it still be the major market? >> absolutely. the market itself is not only procurement and acquisition. it is also the operation of assets. if you buy lesess, you operate long for the ones you have. this creates the opportunity for a broader service industry that is something we clearly have a lot of experience with. in washington, we see the coast guard warned helicopters flying up and down the potomac river.
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those are eads helicopters. 70% of the coast guard assets are produced by eads. these are not unique things you do not see very often in the u.s. half of the industry is built by eads in the united states or europe. >> it is a miracle you are here today. one year ago the plane crasheded. many people did not survive. you and your son did. i would never know you had been in such a deadly accent. how have thingshang? >> everyday is a bonus and an opportunity. you focus more on recognizing
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that life is perishable. any time, it could chae. you do the best you cann the time you have. divine intervention or whatever other factors that play into it it clearly provided another opportuny to do the best you can every day. >> did you think about saying goodbye to corporate america and just watching the sunset every day? >> this is a motivator to get backck into the occasion. i spent long in hospitals and rehabilitation. it was a motivator to get back to doing what i was doing. that served as the real catalyst to get over some of the challenges. all of it is better than the alternatives that were presented.
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>> you look great. a a lot of people like to joke out senator stevens'temper but he was beloved when i worked in the senate. he was a mentor to you. what did you learn about leadership from him? >> he was a remarkable guy. the time i spent with him in the wreckage waiting for the recovery, and reflected on his life. i realized he had accomplished more things in his span of 86 years and i could ever hope to do in five lifetimes. an amazing fellow. head a heart as big as s the state he represented. passionate about what did, a public servant to the core. i cherish his friendship and think about him all the time. >> when we come back, the round
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table takes on jobs, debt, and the metro rail project.
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>> welcome back to "washington business report." i am rebecca cooper. warren buffett says he thinks washington leaders are playing
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with fire coming too close to the deadline for a debt default. both sides try to hammer out a deal. we found a number of new jobs hit the lowest level in nine months. that means the dollar went up against everything but the yen. there is some good news in our region. the washinon area leads the nation again in home price gains. only five markets will see gains for the remainder of 2011. topping the list was washington followed by new york city, orlando, dallas, and san francisco. in orlando, home prices fell 63% frfrom the petak. nova named its top 20 business innovators. in prince george's county,
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johnson finally waved the white flag. the executive says he screwed up on a key initiative by not getting the business community to help himself development fund. the money is in trouble if he gets pushed back from the council. here to talk about that and more is kate andersen brower and bruce depuyt. welcome to both of you. we do not know really what to expect on sunday with the debt. we've been talking to sean o'keefe about defense spending. how is that playingnto it? >> both parties a being asked to cut their third reails. republicans are looking at raising revenues. it will be tough for thehe caucus members to get on board. defense is one area the republicans have always been
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wary of cutting. it could be as high as $700 billion in cuts. >> $400 billion was already seen as a large amount. >> they have expressed concern this could impact america'ss ability to buy state-of-the-art weapons. it could lead to further cuts. the defense department is gearing upor it. defense is an area of discretionary spending. the president said last week that the defense budget is s so large that a 1% cut equals the entire education budget. it is a huge area to make some big cuts. >> baker has been trying to focus on his initiatives.
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leslie johnson was sucking the oxygen out of the roomt the town council meeting. f he finally got her to agree to step aside. talk to us about his economic incentive fun that has $60 million in it. the county council will not set up the rules for how to spend it. >> they are upset she is going to leave at the end of july instead of right away. they are going after the car and cell phone. theyey have reassigned her staff to the county administrator. they're probably two things the executive is known for. he has been in office about six months. ethics legislation, a new day in terms of ethics. the development fund would be the other. there's a real battle between the executive and council over
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details. from the council perspective they are doing what they were elected to do. the make sure the rules are there with proper oversight. the executive and his people are frustrated is taking so long. the feeling is they should be much farther along. >> let's turn to another big battle over spending. that is the dulles rail fight about whether to put it above or below ground. virginia is having to come up with more money for its share. fairfax is saying it will cost too much.. whatat is the status of the silver mine? >> it is moving forward. it has some real questions with . as to whether the station is under the terminal or out front, that focused public attention on the project. it is a $0 million swing one way or the other.
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if it is underneath, it would be more convenient for the public. the price off the project has grown. folks are saying we need to scale it back. not making second-class hopefully, but in addition to the station issue we need to get some savings out of this. the price tag is starting to get away from them. it threatens the broader agreement. >> thank you for talking to us about the headlines. our number of the week is 18 $0.4.4 million
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>> our number of the week proves the super-rich really are different from the rest of us. the numbers 18.4 million. that is the amount of gallons used to water his lawn in the hamptons. wexler was revealed to be the top customer of the water authority. having the greenest lawn means used enough water to fill almost 30 olympic sized swimming pools. i am goi to put a question again to kate andersen brower. at the end of the day with the white house and republicans who will have to give the most?
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republicans say no new taxes. the democratic base is saying they do not want to give more on entitlements. who will have to give the most in the end? >> theresident has said he wants $4 trillion. he wants a big deal. i think republicans will be reticent to do less than that. it makes it look as though they are not serious. it makes it a toughhase to make. i think they will make an agreement where there wille an agreement for a long term tax deal that would look at reforming taxes. they would agree to some short- term revenue increases. >> john boehner will call it a tax overhaul. the tea party will college savings. we will see how that plays out in the end. thank you for joining us. we hope to see you back here next sunday. thank you for joining us on "washington business report worker
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